LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky senior outfielder Emily Gaines, who won Kentucky’s last home game with a walk-off home run against Eastern Kentucky back in February, launched a two-out, pinch-hit grand slam to left-centerfield in the fifth inning, propelling No. 8 Kentucky to a 9-2 victory over Kent State on Friday in day one action of the Kentucky tournament at John Cropp Stadium.
Kentucky (23-4) had a great day at the plate, posting seven runs on 10 hits with eight different UK players posting hits. Gaines paced UK at the plate with a career-high four runs batted in after launching a grand slam in her lone at-bat, leading UK to break the game open with a seven-run fifth inning. The homer was her second of the season and the first grand slam of her career. Fellow seniors Ginny Carroll and Emily Jolly each recorded multiple-hit games with Jolly posting an RBI and a run scored. Junior Griffin Joiner had a hit and an RBI, while sophomores Sylver Samuel, Maisie Steed, Nikki Sagermann and Christian Stokes each had hits.
Senior Lauren Cumbess was great in the circle for Kentucky, going seven innings, allowing two runs – both earned – on four hits with seven strikeouts. The native of Normal, Ill., picked up the win in the game, moving to 8-0 on the year in the circle. Cumbess has earned the win in each of UK’s last three games.
The win continues a four-game winning streak for Kentucky as it starts a 15-game home stretch this weekend with the three-day Kentucky Tournament.